Saturday, June 26, 2010

11 years


It all started at the Avalon Theater. The same place where, as a kid, I saw Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Years later, at a Blue Miracle concert, I met my wife.

There were different times before we started "going steady" that we were out with friends and Robin and I would get talking and the noise of the bar and everything around us would just fade into the background for me. I have a crystal memory of Robin and another friend, Nan, sitting in front of a computer with 3D glasses on, laughing hysterically, and thinking that I could happily hear Robin's laugh for the rest of my life.

Of course, when we met I didn't have much in the way of prospects going for myself. I had freshly failed out of NC State and had dedicated myself to running and lifting weights to get ready for the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. Kick my ass, get my life straight, get some money toward finishing college.

Meeting Robin didn't happen at a time when I was looking for the other half of my soul or at a time where it made any sense to find her. But when it happened it was blatant. Obvious. This changes everything.

Our life has been co-designed and co-built ever since. It's like putting a "c" and an "h" together, you no longer have a c sound or an h sound, but a "ch," whi"ch" has been mu"ch" better in my book. The life and family we have built together far surpasses anything I could do on my own.

On my end, from the decision not to go to the Army, to getting back to work in restaurants, to our first apartment in Oxford, to graduating from Chesapeake and Washington Colleges, from deciding against philosophy graduate school at Duquesne, first public relations job at the Academy Art Museum, to getting married 11 years ago today.

From buying our first house, finding our Golden Retriever Ivan, to the birth of our first daughter, Anna, job at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, moving into our second and current house, birth of second daughter, Ava, Robin transferring from Tilghman Elementary to Easton Elementary, these are just some of the very few bare bones chronological milestones over our 15 years together.

I guess growing up you have some vague notion as to what marriage and family is or means. But it isn't until you find someone who you can't wait to go to bed with at night and can't wait to get up with in the morning and can't wait to spend the day with in between, that you truly know what marriage brings to the table.

And once you share the moments of bringing kids into the world and watching and helping them grow and getting completely amped to see what they learn and accomplish and have fun doing and can look at each other and smile and know that you can't wait for today and the next day together, still, that I realize the blessings that I've got, for having found Robin.

I look back over our 15 and 11 years together and married and see both the chronology of our lives together, but also really powerful and/or random snippets. Driving to Colorado and Maine together, time in Cooperstown, NY, sunsets on boats on the Choptank and Tred Avon Rivers, trying to speak nothing but French for an evening drinking at Schooners Llanding, a random Jeb Loy Nichols concert at Rams Head On Stage, our honeymoon on Ocracoke Island. Both fragments of so far and maybe a road map of the next 15 and 11 years and beyond, of going to bed together and waking up together and seeing what to do with the days, together.

3 comments:

41hebrewcat said...

"But it isn't until you find someone who you can't wait to go to bed with at night and can't wait to get up with in the morning and can't wait to spend the day with in between, that you truly know what marriage brings to the table." <-- That's it; the phrase equivalent to roaming some mysterious Eastern market, unable to speak the language and gesturing fruitlessly with your hands in search of something you think you saw in a dream, to suddenly having the crowd part and seeing it laid out on the table in front of you, and well within your price range.

In short, everything I've been trying to tell the Special Lady in my life. Nicely done.

Kelly said...

thank you for this

Biscuit said...

As always, so well written Mike!

Gives us sad sacks out there some hope after all.